The wind was rushing past me in a whirl of panic, making my hair dance wildly in the air. Grunts and groans came from the shivering crew as the dark sky stared intently down upon us. The captain, in all his glory, glared down at his slacking crew and waved them away with an annoyed grunt. I watched him disappear behind two sturdy, wooden doors, giving up for tonight.
The crewmembers barked profanity at one another as they stomped down to the galley, leaving me up on the deck alone. I took in a deep breath and let it out gingerly, drowning in my own thoughts.
For more than five years I've been stranded and out of place, being sold from one man to another, playing as a mere servant to each creature who paid delicate coins for my wellbeing. It wasn't a choice I got to make. It was a nightmare that came true not too long ago, and to this day I regret ever being a burden to life.
Nobody knew my name, but continued to call me 'servant girl', just as my master had ordered. I was once Reiza Evans, a hungry street girl who lived on the gruesome planet called Exparcary Planet. I never predicted my future the way it was turning out, but then again I never saw my life as perfect. The word perfect didn't even make sense when I said it…it was only a stranger.
I heard loud footsteps stomping up the stairs from the galley, and I didn't even have to wonder who it was.
"To bed, now!" my very own master snarled.
I nodded and walked past him and descended down to the galley. I stumbled into the dusty, humid room for servants, and crouched down to gather up my belongings. In my arms I held my almost featherless pillow, and a thin blanket with rips and tears here and there. I curled up in the corner at the far end of the room and pulled my blanket close.
As the days went on, so did the never ending voyage across the galaxy. The daily work I and the other servants did was only a waste of time for the crew members found it oh so hilarious to ruin every bit of cleaning we did.
"So, where do you think we'll land?" one of the other servants, Ridley Murray, asked.
"Don't know, don't care, just as long as we get off this ship," I answered, mopping the deck I just cleaned ten minutes ago.
Ridley shrugged and placed her hands on her hips. "Mr. Dudley never informs servants," she said, glaring up at the captain who didn't pay her any attention.
"Why would he? We aren't his slaves, we belong to Critter," I said in a disgusted voice.
Our master's real name wasn't Critter, but we servants had a kick out of nicknaming everyone since we never learned his or her real names. All we needed to know was who our captain was and we'll be just fine. Nothing to it.
"Do you think he'll get rid of us the second this trip is over?" Ridley asked me.
I stopped mopping the deck and brushed a strand of blonde hair out of my face. "Not likely," I answered. "I've been Critter's toy for the past year, and he doesn't seem to want to give me up. Likes causing me pain that devil."
"Well then do you think he'll get rid of me?" she asked.
I cocked an eyebrow and looked over in her direction. "Maybe," I said doubtfully. "He has a habit of buying and selling every chance he gets."
"Then you and I will be separated," Ridley pointed out with a frown.
"Not a chance," I said, waving my hand at her. "We'll make sure he doesn't sell you. But for now we need to worry about bigger problems."
"Like surviving a horrible ship crash," I said, horrified.
I pointed out into the distance at the meteor heading straight for us at full speed. Ridley dropped her mop and the two of us began to shout up to the captain.
"What is that ruckus?" Captain Dudley boomed, glaring down at us.
"Captain, meteor ahead!" I shouted, once again pointing out into space.
Captain Dudley gasped and began yelling at his crewmembers who immediately jumped into action. Ridley and I looked at each other, not really knowing how we were supposed to react.
"Here!" someone hissed, shoving ropes into our hands. "Give these to the crewmembers and go down to the galley!"
I glared up at Critter but did as I was told and rushed around; throwing a rope at any ropeless creature I came across. As soon as I was finished I ran for the galley, but stopped in my tracks. I squinted up at the crewmember piloting the ship.
"What is he…?" I trailed off. I looked out towards the meteor and suddenly gasped. That stupid creature was in a straight line with the meteor.
I ran up the stairs to where he was. "Are you trying to get us killed?" I growled, pushing him aside and giving the wheel a sharp jerk, which sent the ship nearly turning on its side.
"Move, servant!" the creature snapped, trying to shove me away from the wheel.
The crewmembers rolled about the deck as I turned the wheel the other way, not knowing what the hell I was doing. We were still heading towards the meteor, and the captain wasn't even in sight.
I turned the wheel again and the ship turned left. "How do you get this thing to go faster?" I shouted, looking around for some special button or something.
"Out of my way, stupid girl!" the creature yelled, pulling on the wheel to go the other way.
"No!" I said, pulling it back the other way.
"The meteor!" a crewmember gasped, pointing out into space.
My eyes grew large, as the meteor was merely inches from the ship. In one swift movement I turned the wheel once more and felt the ship jerk as the big rock just barely smacked the stern, sending us rolling all over the place, and the ship out of control.
I grasped hold of the wheel to steady the ship from running into anymore meteors. Once everything was back in control, and I heaved a sigh of relief, I was shoved forcefully to the ground by the creature who tried to destroy us all.
"That was the most out of order sailing I'd ever experienced!" the captain bellowed, stomping up the stairs.
"Everything would've gone smoother, cap'n, but that girl tried to smash the ship into the meteor!" the creature hissed, pointing down at me.
"What?" I yelled, getting to my feet.
"Hush!" the captain told me. "Mr. Crawford, for saving everyone's lives, and keeping this servant from killing us all, you are rewarded with my gratitude."
"But that's not-" I began.
"And as for you," the captain said, turning towards me. "You will be punished severely for trying to kill us all!"
"But he was trying to kill us!" I exclaimed, pointing at Mr. Crawford.
"That's enough from you, young lady! Mr. Frogord will choose your punishment seeing as he is your owner."
I looked towards Critter in anger and surprise. "I am sorry, captain," Critter said, bowing his head in shame. "I don't know what's gotten into her, but I'll fix it."
He grabbed my arm roughly and dragged me away from everybody else.
"This isn't fair!" I complained, pulling on my arm.
"Shut up!" Critter demanded.
I was thrown forcefully to the ground, my hair falling into my eyes. "Have you lost your mind?" Critter yelled, kicking my ribs.
I groaned in agony and turned over to my back. "I didn't-"
"Shut up!" another kick to my ribs. "You were supposed to go back down to the galley, you stupid girl!"
"Captain, land ahead!" I heard from above.
Critter stopped the beating and looked out at the planet in the distance. Everybody on the ship ran about to view the planet. I, on the other hand, scrambled to my feet; my hands placed over my bruised ribs and stumbled over to the side. I coughed slightly, looking over the side and turned my head to view the planet.
"Are you okay?" I heard from behind me.
I turned just barely and grinned at Ridley. "I'll live," I said, hunching over and leaning on the side. Ridley stood by me and leaned over to get a good look at the planet.
"What is that?" she asked.
"A floating object, dimwit," I said, nudging her side.
"Hey!" she protested. "I mean what planet is it?"
"Don't know," I said, groaning once more from the throbbing pain in my ribs.
"He did a good number on you this time, huh?" Ridley said, patting my back to comfort me.
"I've been through worse," I told her as I ran my fingers through my hair. "I'll be alright."
Ridley and I made our way down to the galley as the ship began to dock. I gathered up my things, which was a knapsack filled with barely anything, and headed back up to the deck, Ridley following behind.
My insides were now burning, screaming at me in horror, but I ignored it completely.
"Hurry up!" Critter hissed at us.
He pushed me forcefully and I stumbled as I walked down the ramp to sweet, dear land. Ridley was right on my heels, trying to keep her distance from Critter.
"Where are we?" I asked nobody in particular.
"Montressor spaceport," one of the nicer crewmembers answered.
"Never heard of it," I said, pulling my knapsack over my shoulder as Critter beckoned for Ridley and me to follow him and his other servants. I rolled my eyes and stumbled after him, clutching my ribs in pain.
"Where are we going now?" I groaned, trying to keep up with the rest of the group.
"I don't know, but wherever it is it better be near by," Ridley answered.
I yawned, my eyes drooping warningly as I nearly bumped into Eric – the servant in front of me.
"Stop here," Critter ordered us. He looked around as if he were looking for someone.
"Uh, Mr. Frogord, sir, I don't mean to bother you, but, uh, what are we looking for?" one of the servants asked.
Critter didn't answer, but smiled triumphantly and began to move again, and we lousy servants followed.
"G'mornin sir," Critter said to a man, tipping his large hat. "I be Mr. Frogord. You look like a reasonable buyer."
The man looked at us shortly and then smiled. "Ah, yes. I was wondering if I'd find one," the man said. "How much and which one?"
"All of 'em," Critter said. "All of 'em except for these two." He pointed at Ridley and me lazily.
"I don't know," the man said, rubbing his chain.
"Five for each of 'em," Critter said.
"Alright, I'll take them!" the man exclaimed.
Ridley and I exchanged short glances as the man paid Critter and escorted the servants away, none of them looked back.
"Let's go, ladies," Critter growled.
I examined the surroundings around us closely, studying each creature walking by me. There weren't many humans such as Ridley and me, but it was quite fascinating. There were ships everywhere we turned, just as big as the one we just left behind, damaged from the meteor incident.
"Wow," Ridley said, looking up at the massive ships.
"Look at that one," I said, pointing towards one of the biggest ones around. The sails were a creamy white, and the ship looked brand new. It stood out compared to the older looking ones, and seemed to catch everyone's attention.
"That'd be the JBM Silver," Critter said in awe. "Our next journey."
"What?" Ridley and I said in unison.
"Another one?" I groaned.
"That ship is stopping at many planets, one of which we are heading to," Critter explained. "Where I can sell you." He pointed to Ridley in disgust. "They buy humans on that planet."
Ridley narrowed her eyes in anger, warning Critter to test her further.
"Don't worry, Rid," I whispered. "That good for nothing feign isn't selling you."
We reluctantly followed Critter towards the ship.